Disabling Touch Screen Functionality on Chromebooks: A Step-by-Step Guide

An illustrated step-by-step guide showing hands visually disabling touch screen functionality on a Chromebook, with each step encased in a comic book style layout.

Disabling Touch Screen Functionality on Chromebooks: A Step-by-Step Guide

Chromebooks have gained popularity for their simplicity, speed, and security. They’re widely used in education, business, and personal computing. Many models come with touch screen functionality, providing an additional layer of interactivity and convenience. However, there are scenarios where disabling the touch screen can be beneficial, such as preventing unintended touches during presentations, enhancing battery life, or simply preferring traditional navigation methods.

This guide provides a comprehensive walkthrough on how to disable the touch screen functionality on Chromebooks. Whether you’re a student, educator, professional, or casual user, these steps will help you customize your Chromebook to suit your needs better.

Understanding Chromebook’s Developer Mode

Before diving into the process, it’s essential to understand that disabling the touch screen functionality on most Chromebooks requires enabling Developer Mode. Developer Mode unlocks advanced settings and capabilities not available to standard users, allowing for more profound system modifications. However, activating Developer Mode will erase all local data on your Chromebook as a security measure. It’s advisable to back up any important files to Google Drive or another cloud service beforehand.

Enabling Developer Mode

To enable Developer Mode:

  1. Turn off your Chromebook.
  2. Press and hold the Esc + Refresh (F3) keys, then press the Power button. Keep holding the first two keys until you see a recovery message.
  3. Press Ctrl + D at the recovery screen to begin the transition to Developer Mode.
  4. Press Enter when prompted to turn OS verification off. The Chromebook will reboot and begin the transition, which can take about 15 minutes.
  5. Upon completion, you will be greeted with a screen warning you that OS verification is off every time you boot. Press Ctrl + D to bypass this screen and boot into Chrome OS.

Disabling the Touch Screen

Once your Chromebook is in Developer Mode, follow these steps to disable the touch screen:

  1. Press Ctrl + Alt + T to open Crosh, the Chrome OS developer shell.
  2. Type shell and press Enter to access the more powerful Unix shell environment.
  3. You’ll need to identify your touch screen’s input ID. Type xinput –list and press Enter. Look for the entry related to the touch screen; it might be something like Atmel maXTouch Touchscreen.
  4. Once identified, disable the touch screen by typing xinput –disable [ID], replacing [ID] with the actual ID number of your touch screen. Press Enter.

Your Chromebook’s touch screen functionality should now be disabled. If you ever need to re-enable it, follow the same procedures but use the xinput –enable [ID] command.

Alternative Method: Using an Extension

If diving into Developer Mode sounds too daunting, or if your Chromebook policy (especially in educational or professional settings) restricts such actions, some Chrome extensions can help manage touch screen input. Extensions like Touchscreen Toggle offer a more user-friendly interface to disable and enable the touch screen. While this method doesn’t provide a complete disable like the Developer Mode approach, it can be an effective alternative for users seeking a simpler solution.


Disabling the touch screen on a Chromebook can tailor the device more closely to user preferences or specific situational needs. Whether through enabling Developer Mode or utilizing an extension, it’s possible to achieve this customization with a bit of effort. Always remember to back up your data before making significant system changes, and carefully follow each step to ensure a successful modification.


Why would I want to disable the touch screen functionality on my Chromebook?

There are several reasons why someone might want to disable the touch screen on a Chromebook. Some users find touch inputs accidental, especially when using the device in cramped spaces or while presenting. Others may wish to extend battery life, as touch screen functionality can drain power more quickly. Additionally, some users simply prefer using traditional input methods, like a mouse and keyboard, and find the touch screen unnecessary.

Will disabling the touch screen on my Chromebook affect its performance?

Disabling the touch screen will not negatively affect your Chromebook’s performance. In fact, it may slightly improve battery life since the system won’t need to power the touch screen sensors. However, the performance improvement in terms of processing power or responsiveness will be negligible, as the touch screen’s impact on these areas is minimal.

Can I disable the touch screen on a Chromebook without enabling Developer Mode?

For most Chromebooks, disabling the touch screen functionality requires enabling Developer Mode to access the necessary developer shell commands. However, for users who cannot or do not want to enable Developer Mode, third-party Chrome extensions can offer a workaround. These extensions can manage touch inputs in a more user-friendly manner, though they might not entirely disable the touch screen functionality as thoroughly as the Developer Mode approach.

Is it safe to enable Developer Mode on my Chromebook?

Enabling Developer Mode is relatively safe, but it comes with certain risks and considerations. First and foremost, it will erase all local data on your Chromebook, so it’s crucial to back up any important files beforehand. In Developer Mode, your Chromebook will also skip certain security checks during boot, making it slightly more vulnerable to malicious software if you’re not cautious about what you download and install. Only proceed if you’re comfortable with these risks and always remember to exercise wise security practices.

How can I re-enable the touch screen functionality after disabling it?

If you’ve disabled the touch screen on your Chromebook through Developer Mode and wish to re-enable it, simply follow the initial steps to open Crosh and access the shell. Use the xinput –enable [ID] command, replacing [ID] with the actual ID number of your touch screen. This will reverse the process and re-enable touch screen functionality. If you used a Chrome extension for disabling, you could manage the settings within the extension interface to re-enable it.

Will my Chromebook’s touch screen automatically be re-enabled after an update if I disable it in Developer Mode?

ChromeOS updates should not automatically re-enable the touch screen if you’ve disabled it via Developer Mode since system updates typically do not reset Developer Mode settings. However, exiting Developer Mode or performing a powerwash (factory reset) on your Chromebook will restore all settings to their defaults, including re-enabling the touch screen.

Are there specific Chromebook models where disabling the touch screen is more complicated or not possible?

Most Chromebook models follow a similar process for enabling Developer Mode and accessing the necessary commands to disable the touch screen. However, some newer models or Chromebooks with specific configurations might have slightly different procedures or additional security features that complicate the process. It’s always a good idea to check your specific model’s documentation or forums for any model-specific instructions or considerations.

Can disabling the touch screen help with Chromebook screen repairs or malfunctions?

Disabling the touch screen can be a temporary workaround for certain screen issues, such as unresponsive touch areas or phantom touches, which are touches that occur without physical input. By disabling the touch functionality, you can continue using your Chromebook with a mouse and keyboard while you arrange for a repair or replacement. However, this is not a solution for physical screen damage, such as cracks or dead pixels, which would require professional repair or replacement to address.

Is there a way to toggle the touch screen functionality on and off quickly without going through the whole process again?

If you frequently need to disable and enable the touch screen on your Chromebook and you’ve used the Developer Mode method, there’s no built-in toggle to quickly switch it on and off. However, using a Chrome extension that manages touch inputs can provide a more user-friendly way to manage this setting with just a few clicks. This approach is recommended for users who require more flexibility without the complexity of Developer Mode commands.

How does disabling the touch screen impact the use of stylus pens on Chromebooks?

Disabling the touch screen on a Chromebook will also disable stylus input, as the stylus relies on the touch screen functionality to interact with the device. If you rely on a stylus for drawing, note-taking, or other tasks, it’s essential to consider how disabling the touch screen will impact your usage. Should you need to use the stylus again, you’ll need to re-enable the touch screen functionality following the steps outlined in this guide.


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